10 Most Memorable Political Videos on the Right in 2010
While this election cycle may have gotten a lot of press as the "year of the conservative woman," it should also be noted that this was the first cycle where viral video took off.
Video has had a presence since 2004, but it wasn't until this cycle that congressional and statewide races started taking advantage of the YouTube gods. There were expensive ads created by famous consultants like Fred Davis, and there were low-budget ads created by tea party candidates.
Take a break from looking at poll numbers and the endless predictions from pundits and let's recap the past top ten memorable videos on the right-side of the political spectrum.
Note that I say memorable. This means good or bad. With some ads, it's hard to tell if they helped or hurt the candidate. They just became a viral sensation.
What other videos should be remembered before they enter the annals of past election fodder? Let me know.
10. Basil Marceaux.com
Good ol' Basil is from my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, so I've watched him run for nearly every office available in both Tennessee and Hamilton County. This cycle, he discovered video. While this video was a short one-minute segment from a TV station in Nashville, it quickly went viral and inspired the campaign to produce more spots with Basil discussing his platform.
9. Pamela Gorman, Driving the Left Nuts
When running in a 9-way race for Republican primary in Arizona, how do you stand apart? You ride the Mama Grizzly wave and create an ad with the candidate shooting a variety of firearms.
Back in September, I moderated a panel with Gorman at Smart Girl Summit. She is indeed a tough cookie and a staunch conservative.
8. Dale Peterson, We are better than that!!!!
Outside of Alabama, I'm not sure if anyone realized that Agricultural Commissioner was a hotly contested primary. With his gun-toting confidence, Peterson raised the office to national awareness. While he ultimately lost, he went on to cameo in other grassroots videos in Alabama.
7. Rick Barber, Gather your armies
Does it get much more tea party than to actually talk to the Founding Fathers about taxes? Barber, who lost the Republican primary for Congress in Alabama, goes all out in his ad questioning the U.S. tax system.
6. SarahPAC, Mama Grizzlies
When the Chief Mama Grizzly released a video for SarahPAC, the world took notice. The ad summarized her remarks at the Susan B. Anthony List event where she christened the movement. Throw in inspirational music, b-roll of women at Palin events, (they really do react that way. I've seen it in person), and you have an ad that either drove women insane or gave you warm fuzzies. While she's not running for anything this cycle, Palin has been a significant player and the most talked about figure on the right this year.
5. Joel Demos, For the Kids
Using his own family, Demos leveraged a low-budget ad that cut through all the chatter of the 2010 election to capture the essence of the Tea Party: our out-of-control-spending is destroying the future of our children. This was one of my favorite ads because it emphasized an emotional and highly-charged political issue with humor.
4. Republican Governor's Association, Remember November
Way back in the spring, this ad got me psyched about the mid-terms. Painting a picture of a dystopian present, it uses a dramatic score, grainy photos and leveraged footage of Democrats against them.
It received a lot of negative press, and critics complained that it pulled in totalitarian themes from the film V for Vendetta and threatened Catholics by channeling Guy Fawkes Day.
I can see that criticism, but it also captured the stark picture of where the country was and the actions that Obama, Pelosi and Reid made. The Remember November campaign has been one of my favorite this cycle.
3. Christine O'Donnell, I'm You
In an ad that the campaign later regretted creating, Christine O'Donnell prompted a spot that will likely be parodied for years to come. It's already become fodder for SNL, and Joe Miller, candidate for Senate in Alaska based an ad on it (see below).
Was it successful? We won't really know until tomorrow. Thanks to Gawker, we all want to go back to the days where all we knew about O'Donnell was that she dabbled in witchcraft for a couple of days in high school.
2. Joe Miller, Hello Voters!
As one of the most widely-acclaimed ads of this cycle, pundits on the left and the right praised it. Developed from the highly-popular Old Spice meme, the ad provided a brief respite from a campaign that flung much mud. Granted, I'm particularly biased since I'm a consultant on the Miller campaign, and my boss wrote and produced the video. However, when Chuck Todd says that it's among the best of this cycle, you don't argue.
Also note whose name is never mentioned. This was also emphasized in the follow-up, She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
1. Carly Fiorina, Demonsheep
As much as it pains me, this ad is probably the most memorable of the cycle. Created by the legendary Fred Davis, it became one of the most bizarre YouTube phenomenons ever. Narrarated by actor Robert Davy, the word "demonsheep" is never said in the ad, but once it exploded on Twitter, the phrase stuck. It quickly spawned a parody Twitter account (which is hilarious and worth following), and Fiorina's primary opponent, Chuck DeVore* fundraised around it.
At nearly three minutes, it's longer than most successful ads, which are usually no longer than two minutes. The ad is also confusing. Just how do you pronounce FCINO (fiscal conservatives in name only). Is it Ef-cino or Fuh-cino?
Also odd, Carly for California YouTube channel has made the ad private.
*In full disclosure, I also worked on the Chuck DeVore campaign.
Adrienne works in the conservative movement and blogs at Cosmopolitan Conservative.